The Maryland Makerspace Pilot Initiative Program is now up and running, offering grant funding and technical support to local governments and non-profits to establish or expand makerspaces.
Increasingly, Maryland’s makerspaces provide greater service to the communities they serve, including providing spaces for gathering and civic engagement, economic development and entrepreneurial inspiration, and central hubs for service delivery.
The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) defines a “makerspace” as:
a community space that: provides access to tools, technology, and knowledge for learners and entrepreneurs; results in the prototyping or creation of physical goods; and supports the development of technical education opportunities for personal growth, workforce training and early-stage business ventures.
Local governments around the state help empower and support these innovative spaces, and there is ample opportunity to do so moving forward. In fact, during the 2021 legislative session, MACo and Maryland counties supported a legislative initiative to create a grant program for local governments and non-profits to establish or improve makerspaces. With MACo’s help, that bill passed and became law, establishing the Maryland Makerspaces Initiative Program, which is now up and running.
Funding and assistance available
The Maryland Makerspace Initiative Program (“Makerspace Program”) was created to “encourage the growth of Makerspaces throughout Maryland.” To do this, the program provides financial and technical assistance to eligible entities.
The Makerspace Program will award grants to be used for either:
- The establishment of a new Makerspace (up to $300,000);
- The expansion of a Makerspace (up to $100,000); and/or
- The development of programming for a Makerspace (up to $25,000);
The funds are administered by TEDCO to local governments, entities designated by local governments, or nonprofit entities who are seeking assistance with the establishment, expansion, or operation costs of Makerspaces in Maryland. The funds are subject to a 1:1 match.
The Makerspace Program will also provide technical assistance to participants and the opportunity to be a charter member of the Maryland Makerspace Network to help in creating and implementing common educational, safety, operational, and design standards.
Application details and timeline
- RFA Released: April 5, 2023
- Last Day to Apply: Wednesday, May 31, 2023, at 5:00pm (ET)
- Finalists Notified: June 2023
- Winners Announced: July 2023
To be eligible for the Makerspace Program you must be:
- A local government
- An agency, instrumentality, or nonprofit corporation designated by the local government, or
- Another nonprofit entity